Because your father and the Korean War
treated you mercilessly
you swallowed the hate, anger and resentment
with tiny grains of rice and near-clear broth
You read books and taught yourself
math – the universal language
you patched holes in your shoes and clothes
sewed extra material to your pant legs
With marriage and children, hunger multiplied
your craving for recognition and love
were bottomless pits of self-doubt
and utter darkness
You lashed out and your fears
masqueraded as control and power
launched your family away
but your heart cried
This man. He is a dream come true. He flew with me from Arizona to Georgia. Packed up my mom’s belongings and loaded them on to the U-Haul. He drove for four days until we got home and get this: There was no cruise control in the truck!
And then he unloaded the truck and put the boxes in our garage. He returned it.
He’s nice to mom. He jokes with her, makes her feel welcome, and cheers her up when she’s sad about dad’s passing in July.
Today, he vacuumed and washed her car.
He is a generous spirit – with all of his family and friends. They know he would do anything for them. He is love personified.
I used to go to a lot of weddings. Now I am attending more funerals. Everyone dies. Creating a will does not bring death closer, it helps your loved ones handle your assets and liabilities when you are gone. Don’t leave a mess as your legacy.
I finally completed my will. I just need to print it and get two witness signatures and a notary. I live a simple life with no debt and uncomplicated assets. Thus, I was able to do it through freewill.com and did not need to hire any lawyers. It was free! Freewill.com also offers advanced healthcare directives and durable financial power of attorneys. All are free! Check them out now: www.freewill.com
My father was a very private man. He passed away on July 11, 2019, and we did not have a service for him in Georgia, where he lived. Instead, we will have it at my house on September 12. Here is his obituary:
Dr. Sei-Jong Chung, passed away in the early evening hours of Thursday, July 11, 2019 at his home in Lawrenceville, GA. He left this world peacefully, with his loving wife, our mother Jung-Yoon Chung, by his side. As he waged a short, but courageous battle against lung cancer, he discovered a peace and joy with his family and friends he had never previously known. For this, we are eternally grateful.
Born in South Korea, he was the fifth of eight children and displayed an exceptionally inquisitive and academic mind. As a young immigrant and college student, Sei-Jong performed many odd jobs, including serving at restaurants and shoveling coal so college students could enjoy hot water. As he worked to earn his advanced college degrees, he also mentored students and Korean immigrants. On several occasions, he exchanged his skills as a technical English reader and writer for other services. It is because he possessed such expertise that we, his three offspring, were able to take Tae Kwon Do lessons and attain black belts.
After earning his PhD in Operations Research, Sei-Jong was a professor at St. Ambrose College and Northern Illinois University. As a father, he favored the “tough love” style with intentions of preparing us for a tough world. He never allowed us to believe we were victims of any circumstance or person. We were raised to believe we were the captains of our ships and that is an invaluable lesson.
During his final months, he shared with all of us the memories of the life he lived so purposefully, the people who made his journey worthwhile, and the many lessons he learned along the way.
He remains an inspiration to his family, friends and former students, and his intellect, quick wit and generosity will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
This prompt brought me to the source of our strongest emotions of late: grieving. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer on April 1st and passed away on July 11th. In that short span of time, I stayed with my parents a lot in Georgia, away from my desert home in Arizona. The colors of the lush foliage surrounded me as I took walks as breaks from caregiving. Friendly neighbors smiled and waved and I felt welcome and an unexpected sense of peace.